Author Topic: Is this company an authorized retailer?  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1385
Is this company an authorized retailer?
« on: November 12, 2021, 10:15 AM »
Festool USA's website for locating dealers is abysmal at best, a war crime at worst.

I came across some fishy listings recently on eBay and worked my way back to the original retailer's website.  I've never heard of this company before in my life, but they seem to have a massive online presence.  I can't find them listed as an authorized retailer on Festool's website (see above), and they're not listed as an authorized online retailer for Festool.

Anyone know the best way (other than calling Festool, because honestly I'd like something in writing) to find out if this company is legit?

Retailer is in Brooklyn, NY, named Lifestyle by Focus, which appears to be a division of the Focus Camera company.

@DerickC ?

Offline Shane Holland

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Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2021, 10:16 AM »
Not an authorized dealer.
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Offline Jason Hagen

  • Posts: 69
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2021, 10:38 AM »
Retailer is in Brooklyn, NY, named Lifestyle by Focus, which appears to be a division of the Focus Camera company.
@DerickC ?

I ran across them last night on ebay! One of the reviews on the items said it was from Hartville, but then I was wondering why the seller was using a different name. Maybe the review was fake.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1385
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2021, 10:41 AM »
Retailer is in Brooklyn, NY, named Lifestyle by Focus, which appears to be a division of the Focus Camera company.
@DerickC ?

I ran across them last night on ebay! One of the reviews on the items said it was from Hartville, but then I was wondering why the seller was using a different name. Maybe the review was fake.

Possibly.  It smelled really fishy with the listing practices and FTC pricing violations; I was surprised that a) they had an actual storefront, and b) they have >250k reviews.

Offline woodwise

  • Posts: 23
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2021, 10:55 AM »
Haven't heard of that vendor and no experience with them.

For a while, there were a lot of similar listings from other NY based "Camera Stores".
They had a lot of seemingly legitimate reviews and crazy low prices.
If you decided to purchase, you would be almost immediately contacted and informed that the item could not be purchased without an extended warranty or some other nonsense. By the time it was all said and done, the price paid was actually higher than standard retail.

In another example involving Keurig Coffee machines, it was a money laundering scheme.
You pay seller real money and low price. They use stolen credit card info and place order through Keurig. Goods are delivered to you, and you are implicated while Keurig fights with credit card company over disputed charges.


Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1385
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2021, 11:12 AM »
In another example involving Keurig Coffee machines, it was a money laundering scheme.
You pay seller real money and low price. They use stolen credit card info and place order through Keurig. Goods are delivered to you, and you are implicated while Keurig fights with credit card company over disputed charges.

I remember that.  The DEFCON talk on it was pretty fascinating:


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5441
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2021, 11:47 AM »
Retailer is in Brooklyn, NY, named Lifestyle by Focus, which appears to be a division of the Focus Camera company.
@DerickC ?

I ran across them last night on ebay! One of the reviews on the items said it was from Hartville, but then I was wondering why the seller was using a different name. Maybe the review was fake.

Possibly.  It smelled really fishy with the listing practices and FTC pricing violations; I was surprised that a) they had an actual storefront, and b) they have >250k reviews.

Why the interest in this place? The items I looked at on their website were regular list price.

Oh I see now, because the “compare at” (on eBay) and “list price” on their web site are grossly inflated to make the legitimate same-as-everywhere price seem like a bargain.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 11:53 AM by Michael Kellough »

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1385
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2021, 12:46 PM »
Oh I see now, because the “compare at” (on eBay) and “list price” on their web site are grossly inflated to make the legitimate same-as-everywhere price seem like a bargain.

Yup.  It's a blatant violation of FTC pricing laws as well as eBay's policies.  I'm glad they're not an authorized dealer, but these sorts of things can sully a brand's reputation if they start to claim that they're an authorized dealer.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3457
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2021, 12:57 PM »
When I come across an unknown online vendor that seems to offer some good deals, I Google the company as in "Is xxx legit?" I forgot the site, but there're sites that verify the trustworthiness or credibility of a vendor based on the name you input.

Only a fool, for example, would place an order with his or her credit card info. for a battery-powered wheel chair with all the bells and whistles listed for $49 US including shipping(!), an online ad I bumped into the other day. Unfortunately these days, many mainstream newspapers allow their online pages to be peppered with all kinds of ads (text or video) from all stripes of merchants.

For all high-end or expensive items (woodworking or not), I only deal with established merchants, preferably with a physical presence in the city or province I live.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 01:01 PM by ChuckS »

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7776
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2021, 12:45 AM »
Seems to me this is the type of company that is only a web-front, but have no actual stock themselves, nor do they have a relation with the manufacturers of the brands they sell.

Basically, they only maintain a website where you can order the products, and when you order with them, they order the product somewhere else and send it to you.

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 124
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2021, 11:13 AM »
Brooklyn is chock full of discount semi shady camera and electronics sellers.  I’ve occasionally ordered audio gear from these entities. Did homework first though.

Many are legitimate and doubtless others are not. Hard to tell what’s hyper competitive pricing vs scam vs grey market vs reselling stolen merchandise.

Buyer beware!

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3457
Re: Is this company an authorized retailer?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2021, 11:37 AM »
Seller beware, too!

I know of a guy (young, tall and strong (gym every week)) who got pepper-sprayed after he handed over an item to a buyer found on Kijiji (Canada's Craigslist) (outside an MacDonald's outlet, but in a dark evening) (illegal here to carry a pepper spray in the city).

When I sell any woodworking tools, I always demand a cellphone # to confirm the place of exchange by text or by calling (usually the parking lot outside the Staples close to my home, between 10am and 6pm). No cell phones, no sales.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 11:40 AM by ChuckS »